How to Make a Still

A still is a boiler or vessel used distilling liquids, especially alcoholic liquors. You can make your own still using typical household and kitchen items.

Materials Needed

  • a large glass bowl
  • 5 quart pot or something larger
  • Juice glass
  • Beer or wine
  • ice

Putting the Still to the Test

  1. Place the pot on the stove. Put a juice glass at the center of the pot. Pour some beer or wine into the pot (not inside the juice glass).
  2. With its right side up, put the large glass bowl on top of the pot and fill it with ice.
  3. Turn the stove on the lowest possible heat setting. If your stove has a timer, set it for one hour but if it doesn’t have a timer, you can always time it manually. You have to set the stove at the lowest heat setting because the aim of the distillation process is to make the alcohol, and not the water, boil. Alcohol boils at a lower temperature than water so it should boil first before the water.
  4. If the temperature is just right, the alcohol will vaporize and rise to the top of the pot. Since the bowl is filed with ice, the vapour will cool and condense at the bottom. Gravity will make the condensed material trickle down the bowl up to the lowest center point, and it will eventually drip into the juice glass at the middle of the pot.
  5. When the process is done, remove the bowl and set it aside. Remove the juice glass with a towel or pot holder.
  6. Let the alcohol cool down or you can expose the glass of warm alcohol in iced water to stop further vaporization of the alcohol.
  7. Once the alcohol has cooled down, store it in an air-tight container. If you want to preserve the alcohol, squeeze a small amount of natural citric acid such as lime or lemon juice.

Extra Tips

  • If your ice melts before an hour has passed, do not remove the large bowl; just add more ice into the melted water.
  • Make sure that you are working in a well-ventilated area because alcohol fumes can get you drunk.